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WHATEVER HAPPENS March 01, 2009 8:59 AM

Dearly Beloved,

I received a text message some days ago that was similar to the one I based the message below on about four years ago. Let me resend that message to you:

WHATEVER HAPPENS

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, NIV).

The writer of the book of the Acts of the Apostles recorded many events that happened in the history of the early church. Most of these events were to the advancement of the gospel, and they brought glory to the name of God. Some of them are what we can regard to as tragedy, while some ended on joyous note.

I received a text message in my mobile phone early one morning. The message reads thus: "Whatever you are doing, please pray for Pastor Ferdie Flores, [a] missionary in East Timor. He is going to be executed today by beating. Please forward to all Christians." As I read the message, the story of Stephen in Acts chapters 6 and 7 came to my mind. I immediately based my prayer on that story that even if that missionary is been executed that day, God should use it, as He did that of Stephen, to advance the gospel in the area. However, when my wife was leading us some minutes later in our family morning devotion, she used another story in the same book of Acts to pray for the missionary. In her own case, she prayed that God should rescue the missionary as He rescued Peter from the prison in Acts 12.

Many other people sent the same text message to me that day, which meant that many Christians received the message and prayed for the missionary, but I do not know what eventually happened to him that day.

However, whatever happened, I know that God would be glorified in the event. I can say like Paul that, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, NIV). Just as God was glorified in the death of Stephen and made the gospel to spread to other places, so also, He will be glorified in the seeming death of this missionary and make the gospel to spread in East Timor and other places in Asia. Likewise, just as God glorified Himself in rescuing Peter from prison on the eve of his anticipated execution, and made the Christians to be stronger in their witnessing of the gospel, God will glorify Himself in rescuing His own from troubles
and persecutions and make them stronger in their Christian faith.

So, whatever happens, let your aspiration be like that of Paul, "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted
in my body, whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20, NIV).

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that God will be glorified in whatever happens in your life.
2. Pray for all those that are facing persecutions because of the
gospel especially in East Timor and other Asian countries.

NB
I have a study on this message based on Philippians 1:17-30. If you have interest in having a copy of the study, write me directly at <spiritualdigest@yahoo.com>. God bless you!

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